I am a physician with specialty training in pediatrics and allergy and immunology. My interest in laboratory research began in 1965 when I was a graduate student at the University of Texas at Austin. I became fascinated with the nascent field of molecular biology and recognized its potential to provide a whole new level of understanding of medical problems. This opportunity was the impetus for me to participate in research throughout my medical and academic training and career. My scope of scientific interest has included several aspects of allergy and immunology, with a major focus on immune protection and inflammation of mucosal tissues. The realization that immune function at these anatomical sites is heavily influenced by environmental exposures has driven my current interest in the molecular mechanisms of allergic sensitization and diseases. This proposal to continue our productive work in the area of novel vaccines for allergic diseases derives from our recent studies, some of which are just in the process of publication, which indicate that the allergic response to aeroallergens from cedar pollen is highly targeted against a few conformational epitopes on a single dominant protein. Preliminary studies in collaboration with Dr. Midoro-Horiuti strongly indicate the rationale and feasibility of probing this novel paradigm in animal models as well as human natural history studies of the allergic process.
I have the expertise, motivation and time commitment necessary to successfully continue my role as PI of the proposed project. My clinical background and current activities in pediatric allergic diseases, as well as, over 30 years of experience in clinically-relevant research make me uniquely qualified to effectively manage the clinical studies and direct the laboratory component of this project. In all of these activities I will be ably supported by colleague in structural biology, lab immunology and clinical trials.